A lack of pools in Elk Grove and a desire not to compete with the Cosumnes Community Services District led the Elk Grove City Council Wednesday to move toward building a in the city's .
Officials have set aside 20 acres of land in that planned development along Elk Grove Boulevard for sports, and Wednesday night the council was faced with the choice of designating all of it for a tournament-level , using all of it for aquatics, or trying to split the land between both uses.
Vice Mayor Pat Hume said the city had taken a "ready, fire, aim" approach to the process.
"For me, the most important thing that this process flushed out … is our communication breakdown and our lack of appropriate and timely dialogue with the CSD," Hume said.
The city had sought bids from hoping to run one complex or the other, but in the end the council voted to take a step back: The city will continue to plan for a softball and baseball complex in an undetermined location, but will work closely with the to use the ball fields that agency already owns; at the same time, the city will ask contractors to submit proposals for a 20-acre, competition-focused aquatic center.
Council members said an aquatic center was necessary because local teams have nowhere to host tournaments, and criticized the for building multiple new high schools in the area without swimming pools. Council Member Steve Detrick said the district has been "negligent" in doing so, and hoped the district could help fund an aquatic center built in Elk Grove.
Another point of dispute Wednesday night was whether including waterslides or play areas at the aquatic center would take business away from the Cosumnes Community Services District's .
"We want to be good partners," Mayor Jim Cooper said. "I think this is going to hurt CSD for the play part, not the competitive part."
Council Member Sophia Scherman agreed.
"I don't think we need the water slides and the miniature golf and everything else," she said.
Assistant City Manager Becky Craig said the city would work with the Cosumnes Community Services District to draft a request for proposals for an aquatic center.